Evaluating Your Coworkers Based Solely On What They Order For Lunch

It’s completely unexpected. Perhaps it’s some fancy-boy executive’s birthday. It could be that the company is celebrating some sort of Wiccan feast-solstice as part of a new workplace inclusiveness initiative. Or, conceivably, this could just be part of the settlement for still having untreated asbestos in the building. It doesn’t matter; you didn’t listen past where they announced that the company would be buying lunch for the entire office today.

Pure, unadulterated delight courses throughout you. Free carryout, wasted working time, and all the silent judgment you can muster looms. Accustomed to their solitary and unpublicized lunch rituals, your coworkers are about to reveal their true, non-diversity-quota-related colors and all you’re expected to do is jot it down, call in the order, and try to get, like, maybe 80% of it right.

Immediately, Gluten-Free Lady (1) ambushes you. Predictably boring and frumpy, before going gluten-free she had little more to contribute to the office dialogue beyond quips about last week’s Bones and tedious stories about her commute. Now, though, she won’t shut up about how amazing she apparently feels and all the new recipes she’s been making. Even just ten days or so into her new regiment and her office presence has become an unsolicited torrent of gluten hate, constantly citing Internet “journals” and spewing anti-wheat propaganda.

This whole charade of standing at your desk, calling the restaurant to see what’s gluten-free, and ranting about her “dietary renaissance” is her way of trying to get attention by obnoxiously advertising her individuality. You can either nod politely or get her to vacate by lying and stating you’re offended at her tirade since your father’s a bread mogul.

Next you’ll have Perennial Dieter with No Self-Control (2). He’ll loudly state to anyone within earshot that he only wants a salad. Yet, the pseudo-salad he orders is more or less a vat with a few lettuce leaves, a ton of cheese, ham, and bacon, plus enough Thousand Island to drown a litter of kittens. At home tonight he’ll justify that he’s earned the right to have ice cream, since he only had a salad for lunch. Yet, said salad was merely a salad in name alone, much like how, in name alone, Carrot Top’s albums are considered comedy.

Flush with self-satisfaction, he’ll saunter back to his desk, yielding his space for Shamelessly Stress Eating (3). Maybe he’s always liked eating, or perhaps he’s a recovering alcoholic, or maybe he has an animal cruelty charge pending and can no longer calm his nerves by drowning kittens in salad dressing, but this guy’s jonesing for a fix. With the company footing the bill there is no hesitation. He confidently rattles off a gravy-based amalgamation of several menu items to be served with a side of drawn butter. It’s inspiring, in a way, to witness a man who does not give a shit as to what anyone else or dietary science has to say.

With an artery-choking calorie bomb tacked on the order, the frugal intern jumps at his opportunity. His road to excess has been paved. Overbuying Leftover-Hoarding (4) knows that juxtaposed to Shamelessly Stress Eating his double-entrée, multiple-side solo food fiesta will seem reasonable. Savvy, he’ll take his leftover bounty home and allocate less money to groceries and more money to video games and whiskey.

It’s crazy how a free lunch puts everyone in a good mood. Looks like it’s up to you to play the Guilt-Inducing Minimalist (5). Relish in your coworkers’ mid-gorge self-loathing when you join them and their lunches in the break room while passively flaunting your lunch: a side of steamed vegetables and a bottle of water.

Sadistically savor each bite. Have your coworkers come to the disheartening conclusions that in the time it’s taken you to eat three broccoli florets they’ve each imbibed roughly 800 calories of liquefied cheese. Watch as their faces sour, unable to direct their anger at anyone but themselves and their gluttony.

Eating healthy never felt so good.